In this picture, I seem to be contemplating the very serious prospect of turning 3. I was probably wondering how to get my hands on that doll.
It’s 57 years later.
Should I be sad? Departing from a decade? I can’t even call it, “leaving my youth.”
Let’s face it…. that was a while back.
It’s made me more reminiscent than anything. Looking back on what I have learned. What I still am trying to figure out.
There’s a lot of that.
So I am curious about these 60’s in front of me.
There are certain things that I can fairly reliably predict will happen. My son’s graduation and move to a job. Maybe me and my husband not working quite so much.
Becoming a mother-in-law? Hmmm…
I have written before that I like to give each decade a “theme.” Kinda like a parade. Each float/year is part of a bigger, over-arching idea.
My 30’s were about finally coming into my own. (We are skipping my 20’s, for good reason. That’s a book, not a post.)
My 40’s were about being a mother and individual all at the same time. Quite a favorite decade of mine.
50’s. The 1st half was about getting through menopause. Whew. The 2nd. Definitely letting go and transitioning into a new normal.
This decade? It’s still forming but it feels like… Acceptance.
Opening myself to opportunities as they come along. Appreciating the journey. Being okay with not quite knowing where I am going.
How is it that different than other decades?
I am not pushing anymore. I have finally figured out that there’s not a lot I can control. Or I certainly like my life better if I don’t try. I can just be open.
Is that wisdom? Maturity? Hope so.
Yet there’s another side. An underbelly of this rock of aging. I have questions that creep into my thinking. Fears that are waiting to trespass into my sense of resolve and tromp on it.
Tolerating the increasing ambiguity of aging is maybe the toughest thing about it.
I am trying to find answers. So I have conversations with myself.
1) What about my body changing? Giving me signals that there are parts that may need some attention?
Strike that balance between paying attention and not over-focusing. Try to stay healthy and strong.
2) What if my culture sees me differently as soon as the word “60” comes out of my mouth?
I will make sure I don’t adopt a discounting attitude toward it myself. Like, “For my age, I am pretty good at this… blah blah blah…” I can’t control others, but I can accept myself.
3) What if this decade things begin to fall apart? That some form of dementia or disease is around the corner?
Well. So far so good. Focus on what I can do about that. Keep my mind active. Learn new things.
But it doesn’t work to try to convince myself, “Well nothing is going to happen to me”. What? I’m invincible?
What I can say. I will try my best to find the inner strength to cope with what life has in store. As I have watched other friends and loved ones do.
Are doing right now.
It would just be me this time. My turn.
I would hopefully make that okay.
4) What if I focus on how much time I have left, which of course I have absolutely no control over, instead of the present?
I will breathe. Deeply. Never read the obituaries. (Unless a friend dies.) Laugh. A lot.
Plan like I am going to live forever. While knowing that cannot be. Hug the people I love and tell them I love them.
All the time.
So there, fear. I can acknowledge you exist. Then shoo you away.
No tears for me this birthday.
Not a one.
Just for kicks, I have included the song that was inspiration for the title of this post. Very popular “in my day.”
Thank goodness it didn’t take me 60 years to figure out that life was not all about yearning for Johnny.
There’s a bit more to it.
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